Monday, December 24, 2012

Bolt Action: T-34/85

One of my birthday presents this year was this totally sweet 28mm scale T-34/85 from Warlord Games. The T-34 tank was mass produced by the Russians in staggering numbers: By the end of 1945, over 57,000 T-34s had been built: 34,780 original T-34 tanks in 1940–44, and another 22,559 T-34-85s in 1944–45. By way of comparison US Sherman tank production was approximately 53,362. The Russian production rate (1300 a month by 1943) was not bad for a nation that had to make those while under constant attack - at Stalingrad they even rolled off the factory line and straight into combat! So my Soviets had to have this tank. Since my Soviets are 1944-1945, it was the T-34/85 for me. 
Regular reader may have noticed I am a bit of a T-34/85 fan anyway. I already own 19 of these great little tanks in 15mm scale for for Flames of War. So what's one more? A nice round score of T-34s.
 I wavered a bit over the paintscheme but in the end, I opted to be more realistic and forgo any camo scheme. Soviets loved camo but not generally of the painted variety. I do at least get to have a tank slogan - "For the Homeland"
 A bit of hunting on the web found me a good site on tank markings. Soviet doctrine was actually to leave these to the discretion of Regt commanders and keep changing them in line with their love of Maskirovka. The numbering I chose was based off photos of a T-34/85 from 6th Guards Tank Army. They were in the east hook via Hungary (look out, Than) and Austria and then.... the 'Soviet Blitzkrieg' on Manchuria.
That assault was a little one sided, with experienced Soviet commanders and properly mechanised forces smashing an out-classed Japanese opposition. In a skirmish game like Bolt-Action, it is probably the tech gulf that is more concerning. The poor Japanese don't really have anything to match a T-34/85 tank to tank. What I like about Bolt Action though is the simplification of the unit stats. This gives troops with no real tanks and only light AT a real chance.
The bolt Action T-34/85 is a medium tank (9+ to hurt it, from the front. 7+ from the sides). It does pack a heavy AT gun (+6 to penetrate!!!) but so what? Probably points wasted vs Japanese 'tanks'.
The Japanese can take comfort in the fact that a light ATG (+4 to penetrate) has a good chance of nailing a T-34/85 (1D6+4 within 2 feet) and even an ATR (+2 to penetrate) can take one from the side. On top of that, arty, infantry attacks and just general pins, can all make a tanker's day hell. I'm looking forward to taking this guy for a spin.


  1. Thanks guys. I had fun painting it. Less than two hours, I couldnt properly paint a 15mm one that fast.

  2. Nice tank mate.;-)
    I'm thinking I should have bought a bazooka model now...